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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hotel Hell, check in time now, check out time NEVER!

Hey y'all!   Rebecca here.  It's been awhile and we've been entirely too positive and feel-good lately, so here's a little rant:

We are NEVER having private appointments at our warehouse again.  Ever, ever, ever.   There have been quite a few occasions recently where we've gone out of our way to meet with people and based on whatever misunderstanding about what it is that we had or what it is that they were willing to spend-- we were screwed-- but there were just enough (2 or 3) times where we had successful meetings for tons of purchases that we were willing to overlook the tons of bad times for the few good.


The other day we were having a garage sale at the home we've been having garage sales at, seemingly every weekend, because we keep getting rained out, and these two older ladies pull up at 2pm on Sunday for a sale that was supposed to only be Saturday that we moved to Sunday that was supposed to close at noon, per all advertisements.  Yet they show up on Sunday at 2 and wonder why everything is picked up?   That should have given us our first clue.  While Brian ignored them completely and finished the last minute details of packing up (we had already been tearing down and packing up for over an hour without any customer in that time frame at all), I answered their ridiculous questions.     We didn't have any of the items they were looking for in the home (mainly things for kids and random other items), but they did mention they needed fabric.    We still have 12-20 boxes of fabric from the "Sew Good" unit,  so I let her know that we had it, and that most of it was remnants and that there was a variety of different fabrics.   One lady wanted fabric for children, which the remnants are PERFECT for (appliques or john johns or whatever), and the other lady mentioned that she wanted satin.  I told her I have satin in all different colors,  mostly remnants, but that we did have several yards of some colors and I did have a few bolts of different fabric.  She asked how cheap, I told her 25-50 cents a yard, and maybe $1-$2 a yard on specialty fabrics.   That's very reasonable, and she agreed.


We set an appointment for today at 11:15.   She's bringing her friend, the same lady from the other day, and they're going to meet me separately.  Fine.  I  arrive right at 11:15, so does her friend, but she's a few minutes late.  I open the warehouse and turn on the lights and A/C and offer the other lady a chance to start looking but apparently she's afraid of going into the warehouse alone with me so she waits for her friend.  Minutes wasted for sure.


Just so you know, I had woken up super early this morning (6:30, which is a miracle for me) after having been up super late last night.  I had so many things to do, so wanted to make sure I got everything done in time.  I had spent the morning at Performance, helping out there, and shipping items on eBay (we're averaging about 8 shipments a day now, which I think is pretty good) and listing other items.  We're not talking $1-2 items, we're talking items worth hundreds.   So I was making pretty good headway on some important work.      And then I realized I had to get to my appointment.


I should have taken my sweet time getting there, but I didn't, I arrived right on time, along with the friend (let's call her Thing 2), and Thing 1 is now there, a few minutes late.  We go into the warehouse and I immediately see an upturned snotty look on both of their faces.    It always cracks me up when people enter our warehouse and say things like "It's hot in here"  or "there is a mosquito!"  or "OMG, I got dirt on my blouse!"  -- all of these things were uttered by our customers from hell, and we've heard them before.  It's kind of funny, because you can always tell how much the peole are going to spend by these little remarks.  It's always the ones who are the most problematic that are the ones that are willing to spend the least.  The way I figure it, I don't mind putting up with a Paris Hilton type, her chihuahua, entourage, and attitude-- because at least her daddy is worth millions.  Why are you acting like a Queen in your flip flops and jean capris?   But I digress.   The other hilarious thing about these comments, is like, dude,  It's a WAREHOUSE.  I did not invite you to my upscale retail store on Magazine street.  I did not invite you to my Palace in Versailles.  I invited you to my WAREHOUSE, that is NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC because of how friggin' special you are.   Also because you told me you were bringing $100 cash and a checkbook.  But moreso because of that last part.


But no, you didn't bring a chihuahua in a little tutu, you brought me Thing 2, a sweet old lady, but bat shit crazy and borderline senile.   I listened THREE times as you told her you were only looking for "WHITE SATIN" - a surprise to me, too.   We'll get to that in a second.   Some people have common sense, some don't.  Some shouldn't be allowed on the street unsupervised.  Thing 2 falls into that last category.  These women are watching me lift heavy boxes alone (something I'm accustomed to in general, but definitely with the rudest of our wholesale appointments) but on top of that, Thing 2 is literally standing "all up in my kool aid",  directly behind me, in the one spot of clear floor where the 50 lb. box I'm lifting is supposed to be dropped, and not only that but she's so close to me I actually have to adjust my elbows as they come down to avoid elbowing her in the face.  I wouldn't stand that close to someone in general (unless I was at a rock concert mosh pit or on Bourbon Street at Mardi Gras) but DEFINITELY not when they were doing physically exerting labor.   On top of that, she soon abandoned the fabric search after Thing 1 told her for the fourth time she didn't need what she was displaying to her, and began wandering around the warehouse moving things out of certain boxes into other boxes,  spilling entire contents of boxes onto the floor, and generally just behaving like a little child might.   Every once in awhile she'd exlaim loudly "OH MY GOD A WOODEN BOX!"  or "LOOK!  A CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT!"  -- and pull out the most ridiculous $1 item from the dollar store, while I gawked at her.   THAT's what you choose to be excited about, lady?   There are thousands and thousands of dollars of rarities, art, and glimpses into people's lives, but no, you want the $1 Santa from the Dollar Store.  IN AUGUST.    There is just no help for certain people.

Speaking of the glimpses into people's lives part, Thing 2 seemed to not be able to understand the concept of "Storage Units" --   there were SO many times where she WARNED me that there were credit cards with someone's name on it or photographs "just loose in this box!"  --  she kept bringing them to me for "safe-keeping"  and it's like,  first of all, no one is in here but us, and you, unfortunately, and second of all-- you are totally screwing up the sanctity of my blog by moving stuff from unit to unit--  how am I supposed to know where it originally came from if you keep moving it around?
At one point, I actually had to ask her "These eight boxes here are from a unit that we've just bought and we have not opened yet.  We do not even know what's inside them.  Please do not open them."  --  TWICE, and she still kept taking stuff out and moving it from box to box to box.   Finally I stood between her and the boxes physically hoping she would get the hint, but she just violated my personal space again and kept on trucking.   And for those of you who know me, it is EXTREMELY difficult to violate my personal space.


Finally, Thing 1 calls Thing 2 off of my secured boxes, and decides she's ready to checkout (Thank Goodness) and before we get to the climax of this sad tale, let's backup a minute and cover the "white satin issue" -- originally, she had asked me if I had satin, and I had told her yes, we have yards and yards of it.  A lot of it is remnants, some of it is a yard or two, some of it is bolts.     She never once mentioned to me that she was looking for white satin --  wouldn't it have made more sense that if you wanted one fabric (and ONLY one fabric) that you have the person bring it to you, as opposed to making them open up their entire supply for you to peruse through?  She's full of crap if she says she mentioned that to me before because there's no way I would have let her browse all of our fabrics.  She makes pageant sashes for women who are having bridal parties and bacheleorettes and birthday parties and apparently they sponteanously burst into flames if they are made out of any other color other than white.   She at one point said she'd take zebra print as well, but for whatever reason those are the only two types of fabric that could ever be needed. She's also full of crap that she told me beforehand she only wanted white, because she told me she was bringing $100 and a checkbook, so at $1-2 a yard, I mean, exactly HOW LARGE are these brides? 

Another point well made by me:   if you are looking for ONE type of fabric, and ONE type of fabric only,  this is not something you should try to find a discount on at a garage sale / estate sale / fabric wholesaler, etc.   Garage sales are for people who like to find random treasures or maybe pick from a few different categories of items.  If you want ONE material only, do eBay.  Buy in bulk.  Use the brains God gave you.  On top of that,  if you're charging $24.99 or whatever it is that you're making women pay for this piece of fabric that took you 20 minutes to sew and bedazzle,  then you can go spend $6.99 on a yard of satin.   For real.   She kept saying how much of a perfectionist she is---  honey, you cannot be a perfectionist AND this impossibly cheap.   There's just no way.


So... we go to check out.... and Thing 1 has found a bag of paper lunch baggies, like 100 in a bag, shrink-wrapped from whatever grocery store they came from,  some looseleaf paper still shrink-wrapped,  a formal dress that is really nice that she plans on cutting up, and about 3-4 yards of miscellanous fabrics.   I quote her $5, which is MORE than fair.  I remembered texting Brian at the very beginning of our appointment, once I saw her petulant attitude, that "I would be lucky to get $5-10 between the two of them"   -- so I was quoting low and hoping high, and I thought $5 was more than fair...  at a garage sale I would have charged $1 for both the bags and the looseleaf, (probably $3 in the store)  $2 for the dress, and about $1 each for each of the pieces of fabric... so I was giving her 3-4 items free.     FIVE DOLLARS.   She immediately points out that the dress is stained and that she has to use her "precious" laundry detergent to wash it (yeah, I'm pretty sure the word she used was something like that).    I told her to give me a break and that $5 was a good price, she was getting the stained thing for free (why'd she even pick it if it was so terrible), and she balked at the price again.  So I told her "FINE.  Just give me what YOU think it's worth."  At this point, I was just hoping for mercy, for at least enough to cover my gas, and to get out of there, and back to paying ventures forthwith.   She looks at me and goes "I don't want to insult you by only offering you $2 or $3."   I look right back at her and say "no, you WILL insult me if you DON'T offer me at LEAST $2 or $3."     She makes a face, I tell her I spent at least that amount on gas driving out there, she says "I did too!"  and then points out about the laundry detergent again.   Realizing I'm getting absolutely no where, I"m done... I start picking up the things they left EVERYWHERE and putting them back in the proper places,  righting toppled over boxes,  clearing a path for us to walk, and turning off lights and air conditioners.

Thing 2 still wants to make a purchase, and she has one of those "make you sweat" exercise belts, that's virtually new, and 3 washcloths.  (Once again, there is THOUSANDS of dollars of merchandise that I'm letting go for up to 75% off of full retail and you pick WASHCLOTHS?)   I quote her 3 for a dollar for the washcloths (otherwise we'll use them for the warehouse), and ask Thing 1 what SHE thinks is fair for the exercise band  (since obviously she's the expert on pricing)... and she says "I paid $10 for mine, so $5?"  Wow...  I think, that's remarkably fair.   I guess you give fair pricing when it's for anyone BUT you, including your senile friend.    I throw in the washcloths for free and she (I guess trying to save face now) makes a comment about how that's very fair.    At this point she could have been on fire (perhaps from a flaming sash that's the wrong color satin) and I don't think I would have looked up at her.   I was LIVID.   I turned off the lights as fast as I could and got them out of there.   They of course lingered in the parking lot chatting (because they have nothing else better to do, obviously) while I peeled out of there to get back to Performance / making money / civilization / the light. 

The beauty of the entire thing is, as we were leaving, they ask me "We really enjoy estate sales... you'll let us know when the next one is, right""   I say, "SURE."  through gritted teeth.  If you can't afford $5 in fabric and dresses and school supplies, what on God's green acres makes me think that you're fit for an estate sale where the cheapest item is going to be 5 times that?  Even if you could afford it, the sight of your face now makes me want to vomit, and I don't like vomiting.

I usually try to be kind and have grace under pressure and all of that, and I always try to watch what I write on blogs to either not offend people or hurt their feelings, but at this point, I really don't care.  The level to which people can disrespect and lack empathy is so ridiculously high, I wonder how we're even surviving as a human race these days.  I hope these women never ever make anyone else feel the way they made me feel today.   If it were me, after making someone move heavy boxes for 30 minutes, go out of their way to meet, me, whatever, I would have made myself find something I liked just to spend a few dollars.  It's the right thing to do. She HAD items she liked and she STILL wouldn't spend the money.     I need to find something really good to do with that $5.

Until next time...

We put the rage in Storage...

Storage Heroes


  1. I HATE to say I was entertained by your story but I do feel sad you went through it!

  2. As the beneficiary of a private appointment, I feel it necessary to say THANK YOU again! I haven't started decorating any of the shoes I bought, but I can't wait.

    Kim (from Muses)

  3. Thanks guys ! At least reading comments makes Mr feel better !

  4. So sorry you had to deal with this!

    It reminded me of a lady that showed up early to our last garage sale. She pulled up, honked a few times (which I ignored), got out and walked around the sale, picked up the small box labeled "free items", took out every item in that box and placed it on the ground... as she picked out the last item (a small bottle of hotel hand lotion) she asked me, "How much for this?" I told her that it was $1. She didn't buy it. AND she did not put any of the items back in the box. Seriously!?!

  5. Wow, I can hear the rage in your writing and rightfully so.

  6. francine ahrenstein kassAugust 14, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I would say take the five bucks and buy a good drink but I don't know where you can buy a good drink for five dollars these days. Maybe Thing 1 or Thing 2 can go with you and bargain down. lol

  7. these are the same two that offered me 20.oo for a 2000.00 antique and were offended and thought i was insane for laughing and telling them to have a nice day.



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